iGF Shorts 6.0

The Truth Will Out.

In a battle for survival, the truth’s not much good if no one believes it.

That’s been a major problem in recent days as Ukraine and its democratic supporters attempt to convince the Great Russian Public of the horrors being committed in their name.

Hopefully, with the introduction of a new “unbreakable” Internet network inside Russia, this is all set to change.

Called Lantern, and financed by the US government, it hopes to shine the light of truth in the ongoing war between despotism and democracy.

Unlike Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms that have been severely sanctioned inside Russia, Lantern is an app that allows users to bypass state censorship by sharing peer-to-peer content.

Although the number of current Russian users is not yet known, globally the app has been downloaded 150 million times and has seven million active monthly users, double the number it had three years ago.

As the saying goes, the truth will (always) out. If it does it could speed up the end of the war.

CNN goes Streamin’

CNN, the mother of 24-hour cable news, which came of age during the  Gulf War of 1991, is finally joining the streaming revolution with a new service called CNN Plus.

The network has invested US$100 million, over the last two-years, developing its new venture which will take on Fox’s streaming service Fox Nation.

The new channel will charge a monthly subscription of US$5.99 and will feature an endless loop of standard CNN fare, travel and food shows, archival reportage, documentaries and features.

And, with Ukraine in mind, cynics, may also point out: There’s nothing quite like “a good war” to boost ratings.

Rich on the Menu.

What’s the difference between “let’s do brunch” and insider trading?

It’s a perfectly legal and innocent question that might be posed to some top executives who made a killing off the US$68.7 billion sale of Activision Blizzard to Microsoft.

US officials are now investigating a meeting between the gaming company’s CEO Bobby Kotick and a person who days later traded shares on the behalf of media tycoon Barry Diller and music mogul David Geffen.

Diller, his stepson Alexander von Furstenberg and Geffen bought Activision options for US$40-a-share on January 14, just four-days before Microsoft acquired the maker of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft for US$95 per share.

While lunch may be for wimps, brunch, most obviously, is for winners.

Ukraine, Rise of the Machines

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and facial recognition technology (FRT) to target enemy combatants is the latest dystopian turn in the brutal Ukrainian conflict.

US company Clearview AI—whose systems are already used by police and private security operators—has offered the Ukrainian government free use of its controversial FRT, supposedly to catch infiltrators and identify the dead.

Despite unconvincing protestations; this, regrettably, is proof positive that FRT has now become a new weapon in the military arsenal, joining autonomous drones and killing machines that have been trialled in other conflicts ongoing, like Libya, and recent, notably the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Age of Minority Report is fast approaching.

Heaven’s Above

The world’s two richest men Elon Musk, best known for his electric Tesla vehicles, and Jeff Bezos, of Amazon fame, are now going head-to-head in a new space race to see who will dominate the future of broadband communications.

Musk’s SpaceX and Amazon’s Project Kuiper are planning to launch thousands of broadband satellites into low-earth orbit.

So far Musk has got the jump on Bezos.

SpaceX’s has launched 1,900 satellites as part of its Starlink Internet service, which already has 250,000 subscribers.

Amazon is playing catch-up and has booked 83 launches, from three rocket companies, to ferry thousands of satellites over the next five-years.

Wonder if returns will still be free.

Worth the Shirt on your Back.

The shirt worn by the late Argentine football superstar Diego Maradona in the infamous 1986 World Cup “Hand of God” match against England is to go up for auction with an estimated value of £4 million.

The shirt is being sold by Steve Hodge, the England midfielder in the World Cup game, who managed to pick himself off the ground and swap shirts with Maradona after the final whistle.

If you’re one of the five people who don’t know what happened: The quarter-final match was one of the most controversial in the annals of the World Cup after Maradona scored his first goal with a handball.

He later credited his score as divine intervention, the so-called “Hand of God”, and revenge for Argentina’s defeat in the 1982 Falklands War.

Lego Builds Metaverse

Epic Games, the maker of “Fortnite”, has asked the LEGO Group to help  build its version of the Metaverse.

“We want to construct a digital experience where children can play safely online,” said an Epic spokesperson.

“The LEGO Group has captivated the imagination of children and adults through creative play for nearly a century, and we are excited to come together to build a space in the metaverse that’s fun, entertaining, and made for kids and families,” said Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney.

Build on.

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